Saturday, 8 June 2019

Nightswimmer’s Creation Story

When he was a little kid, at the beach with family,
he watched a man swim out from shore
over criss-crossing whitecaps as a storm
pushed in. The man swam out of sight,
stayed in the water seemingly forever,
finally reappeared, pulled himself ashore, smiling.
How not to be afraid: dive in, fight through
while others stick to the sand, or worse—
stay home until idyllic conditions prevail.
From Nightswimmer’s exploratory efforts
starting early middle age, ‘til the Coast Guard
rescue on live camera, when the ActionNews haircut
labeled him a fool for taking on more distance
than he could manage—he’d emerged
from each struggle in a deeply peaceful state.
Always calm and bone tired and glad to be alive.
When he was a boy, he saw the way.

Todd Mercer (b. 1969) was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Mercer won 1st, 2nd & 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Prizes and the won Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Prize. His chapbook Life-wish Maintenance is posted at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in: A New Ulster, The Lake, Mojave River Review and  PraxisMercer and his wife Michaeleen Kelly adopted an awesome rescue dog (Garpur-Bradley) who only talks when it is important.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

all together now

all together now

walking with a dog you are
never alone
and your eyes are always down
ticks, turds, and dangerous bones
you watch the neck and the ground
between the small stones
moves an ant, and
i adjust 40 pounds of
huge, damaged leg
to avoid
who commits more horse power?
an ant's (entire) life
or a big animal's
avoid maneuver ;
either way
he is more efficient
am more accurate
we both live


Sunday, 24 February 2019

In The Garden

Play it safe Eve,
Follow the rules.
Eve, where are you going?

Eve, he was always like that,
likes to be in charge,
forgets how much you do,
forgets you have needs, too.

Life is more than this garden, Eve.
Have you ever looked outside the gate,
have you ever wondered what is out there?
Eve, have you noticed the serpent?


Just here— I'll rest her in this tree branch
notice how she moves
her body hugs the tree.
Watch her move along the trunk
have you ever been touched like that Eve?

Eve... are you hungry?

elaine reardon

Sunday, 17 February 2019

together outliar

i live alone    but it's all in my head
i'm very ill     but it's all in my head
i'm a nice guy, but that's very much all in my head
my family supports me, but
it's all in my head
not like a dream,
in dreams i am a kind of hero
(details to follow
and i die over and over again
those things are treasures beyond value, every
last breath i wake as someone else,
we all do
it's all in our heads
you're all in my head
when i go it'll be sad to kill you all that way
but it's just for me
i live alone


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

If You Were Expecting Valentines

If you were expecting Valentines, it’s too late.
I sent them flying into the wind last night.
Some lay on the ground this morning,

glistening in the sun. The roosters picked them up
one by one and gave them to their sweetheart hens,
showing they are indeed more than just a set of drumsticks

with extra for the soup pot. By the way, for Valentines Day
I’m making a big pot of chicken soup.  It’s simmering on the
stove right now.  New snow is falling now.

elaine reardon

Saturday, 9 February 2019

the impact

my dead pets become passwords
i shouldn't tell you that,
it's insecure and possibly marks me out from the herd.
the one living now, beside me somewhere lost in here (it's warm)
won't join that roll for a while but we both dream it,
dreams of death
deaths of squirrels and private drownings
in so many dreams with elevators and aircraft
it's not a fear of falling but of the impact


Welcome, Winter

With anticipation, I imagine you are with
your usual entourage this week, at a
pre-party event featuring meteor showers.

Lace-winged snow clumps will spiral
downward, loosened from nimbus clouds,
just as I open the curtains in the morning.

A night of cold complete with thin
ice sheets that crackle and explode
when we walk to collect the newspaper.

Delft jays will shout from bare branches.
Every stalk and bent seed head will sparkle
frost sequins under the moonlight.

Finally, shooting stars will blaze when we
bring in the cat, the last thing at midnight.

elaine reardon

Tuesday, 5 February 2019


Some days,
you’re the barred owl
gliding on silent wings,
surveying snowy terrain.

Some days,
you’re the field mouse
frantic in the frost,
searching for a warm place to hide.

Most days,
you are neither.

Most days,
you are just
the impression
of wings on snow,
maybe a tiny sprig of fur
left to be carried away
by the breeze—

not alive,
just the evidence
of something
that was.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

wine synthesis

the hot day in june
on the foggy couch
your humid skin tasted salt
as you taught me to dive
into the stratosphere
without dying

you would not be quiet
telling me
the sea is the only enduring thing
neuroses would not kill us
our bodies wouldn’t stiffen
and i drank your wine
ruthlessly intoxicated

time after entropy
hearing the rattle of machine guns
outside town
falling snow mutes sound outside
and when a shell explodes a couple of blocks away
the blast sends
shockwaves into
your skin and primal harmonies
not even spiced wine, warm cinnamon can
bring back the colour on your costly features
as carbon acid snow falls over frozen defense positions
and the matchstick men
sink into the night

there is a place past entropy
in the center
where amber lantern casts its glow
shadows alive
the sap rises
here we rest while
bumblebees and gnats hoover
over our subterranean bodies
wine synthesis of
spider web dew and bodily fluids

©  Anders Enochsson

Monday, 28 January 2019


The air is thick  
as we sink in
first bites of untruth
through its smooth,
almost ripe
stubborn skin, to meet
layers of sweet, but
it refuses our teeth
and tongues laced with
chatter, wrapping its
darkness around
our secrets
to keep us quiet,
to save us
from ourselves.

Moving Out

A house never forgets
how to hold its own

but it’s hard
to stay whole

when hallways
fill spaces

with hauntings;

slink past sunlight
behind curtains

at dusk, slicing
through memories

no one cares enough
to carry.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

but not for

is there a minimum resolution?
no, the dead plant i am looking at
seems like it is near the bottom of the tapestry but it goes down and down
in a long dive of detail from there;
i can see it now, in red and black thread, the bacteria
and the little lights and darknesses
beneath and inside them

it goes up in a long shout,
this dead stick shouts
it makes me weep but not for death


Thursday, 24 January 2019

The Shadow Play Master

the shadow play master’s
slender but crooked fingers
and neat paper silhouettes
grow and shrink for the last time
on the wall inside the brick building

oak brass tea steam
phlegmatic applause
the master makes his exit
while charming charlatan
with wild duck in basket
makes his appearance

door creaks fox flees into bush
coach passes by copper lamppost
three afghan hounds run after the coach
their paws hardly touch the ground

the frost fog in the grove
icy through respiratory tract
the shadow play master’s green coat
with black pompoms
becomes visible through the fog
but not his flour white complexion

hoarfrost on nostril hair
pine needles become blue
only frost no snow yet.

© Jenny Enochsson 2019

(This is a revised version of a poem I wrote in 2010.)